When Worry Works

How to Harness Your Parenting Stress And Guide Your Teen to Success

A parent’s guide in the age of achievement culture and teenage anxiety. 

Anxiety is an unavoidable part of parenting today. Dr. Dana Dorfman’s book shows parents how to turn their unique parenting anxiety patterns into an advantage, instead of a liability.

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Reviews for When Worry Works

Revelatory. An exploration of parents’ often damaging preoccupation with academic achievement, while also providing gentle and constructive guidance on how to overcome it.

The Jewish Chronicle

Grab this book and tame your anxiety. Your teenager will thank you. This is just the book parents need to bring down anxiety and connect more with their child through the ups and downs, pressures and worries of the adolescent years.

— Tovah Klein, PhD, Author of How Toddlers Thrive and Director of Barnard College Center For Toddler Development

Dorfman’s humor and honesty about her own parenting pitfalls make this book relatable, comforting, and non-judgmental. She also offers a clear roadmap for parents to understand their own anxieties so they can be solid, loving guides to their teens.

— Lisa Spiegel, author of A Mother’s Circle and Internal Family Systems Therapy with Children, and Director of the Soho Parenting Center

About When Worry Works

Wouldn’t you like to turn your distinct way of worrying into an advantage?

With Dr. Dorfman’s book, you can learn to:

  • Identify your Parenting Anxiety Reaction Types;
  • Manage your emotions more than be driven by them;
  • Make difficult decisions on behalf of your teen aligned with your values;
  • Detach from anxiety brought on by the pressures of achievement culture;
  • Draw upon your innate strengths as a caring parent.

For over 30 years, Dr. Dana Dorfman has studied achievement anxiety in parents and their kids, both academically and in her practice with patients.

Dana’s identified 8 distinct patterns of anxiety among the thousands of parents she has worked with and studied. Tap each image to view the 8 PARTs.

What's Your Parenting Anxiety Reaction Type?

Parenting Anxiety: What The Data Says

  • 1 in 3 adolescents age 13-18 will experience an anxiety disorder (National Institute of Health)
  • 41% of incoming freshmen in 2016 felt stressed by their responsibilities versus 28% in 2000 (Higher Education Research)
  • Just 6 in 10 parents reported coping “very well” with the demands of childrearing in 2020, down significantly from 2016 (Journal of the American Medical Association)

Your teen—and you—don’t have to be another statistic.

About Dr. Dana Dorfman

Dr. Dana Dorfman has 30 years of clinical practice experience treating children, adolescents, parents and adults. In addition to her New York City private practice.  As a passionate advocate of mental health, she’s a public speaker, workshop facilitator, and consultant working with schools, parenting centers, and mental health organizations.

She’s contributed to the New York TimesCNNWall Street JournalParentsOprah Daily, and Refinery 29, among other publications.

Dana lives and works in New York City with her husband, their two teenage kids, and their dog, Winnie, whose namesake is inspired by the love of her work: the psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott.

Dr. Dana Dorfman

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Discover your

Parenting Anxiety

Reaction Type

All responses are confidential

Dr. Dorfman created this 16-question quiz to help parents identify the unconscious ways that anxiety can manifest in parenting. Once we know our PARTs, we can parent with more confidence.